Subarea Planning

The City of Olympia has initiated a process of subarea planning identified in its Comprehensive Plan. Five neighborhoods in Northeast Olympia are working together to pilot the first subarea planning process. In addition to the information below, you can find more information about their efforts on the Olympia Northeast Neighborhoods Alliance site.

What is Sub-area Planning?
(Derived and summarized from the City of Olympia's Comprehensive Plan)

Subarea planning is conducted through a collaborative effort by community members and the City and is used to shape how neighborhoods grow and develop. The intent of sub-area planning is to:

  • Collaborate with community members early in the planning process.
  • Help community members understand the level of impact in neighborhood planning.
  • Influence community decisions that shape how neighborhoods grow and develop.
  • Help identify neighborhood assets, challenges and priorities for development.
  • Help community members understand the plans and regulations that guide development in each area, as well as how land use decision-making processes work in accordance with federal, state and local laws

Facts about the Subareas:
  • The Subarea map included in the City's Comprehensive Plan includes 12 planning areas of the City, including downtown.
  • Subareas are comparable to the scale of an elementary school service area with 5,000-10,000 residents.
  • Subarea boundaries don’t reflect neighborhood association boundaries.
  • The specific area, content, and process for each sub-area is to be adapted to the needs and interests of each area.
  • Subarea efforts should focus on furthering the community's priorities/ interests and must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Subarea strategies can address priorities for a number of topics, including community health, neighborhood centers and places of assembly, streets and paths, cultural resources, forestry, utilities and open space and parks.
  • Subarea plans will not be adopted as part of the City’s comprehensive plan, but will identify the neighborhoods’ priority strategies and actions and help the City prioritize its projects and programs.
What will Subarea planning accomplish?
  • Find creative ways to engage the community in a more meaningful way that invite a diversity of citizens to participate.
  • Inspire partnerships that will enable the community to pool its resources to bring about desired change more quickly and efficiently.
  • Encourage collaboration between neighborhoods and City representatives.
  • Help define and influence the role that sub-area plans play in City decision-making and resource allocation.
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